SsangYong Tivoli

Ultimate

SsangYong Tivoli, front
SsangYong Tivoli, front
SsangYong Tivoli, front
SsangYong Tivoli, front
SsangYong Tivoli, side
SsangYong Tivoli, rear
SsangYong Tivoli, rear
SsangYong Tivoli, interior
SsangYong Tivoli, interior

BACK in May the SsangYong Tivoli had a major makeover to make the compact SUV even better value for money.

Some improvements were purely cosmetic but the interior was completely revamped and new engines and more technology were added to the range.

Perhaps the biggest change was the introduction of an all-new three-cylinder 1.2-litre petrol unit which joined an improved version of the original 1.5-litre unit I have been driving.

SsangYong also pumped-up the power of its 1.6 diesel engine to produce 136ps.

The most impressive feature of the Tivoli has always been its spacious interior which can easily sit four adults in comfort unlike many of its direct and more expensive competitors.

The cabin now features an easy to read and nicely lit 10.25-inch LCD instrument cluster and - on all but entry-level models - an eight-inch audio set up which is fully smartphone compatible and easy to operate.

Another strong point in favour of the Tivoli is its extremely aggressive pricing. The range starts at £13,995 for the 1.2-litre Tivoli with the flagship diesel automatic in Ultimate trim costing £22,995.

A new Ventura trim grade has also been introduced to sit with the 1.2-litre engine and it comes with lots of kit including 16-inch alloys, faux leather and cloth upholstery and a reversing camera and costs from £16,995.

I was pleasantly surprised by the performance of the improved 1.5 engine.

It is now good for 163ps and the top speed is 112mph. It may not be the quickest to 60mph at just over 11 seconds but it reaches it smoothly and will meet the needs of most of its buyers.

This car came with the automatic gearbox and the combination worked well although it was sometimes too eager to drop down a gear.

Emission figures are quite high at 175g/km but it is fairly economical with up to 42.8mpg being achievable. If you want better opt for the diesel which will return over 50mpg.

The Korean manufacturer has also smartened the exterior with a fresh nose and smoother rear which helps the Tivoli look less blocky.

Thanks to other changes the Korean manufacturer has succeeded in reducing noise and vibration levels and as a result the Tivoli is now quieter and a good motorway cruiser.

Safety equipment has also been boosted and all trim levels have a minimum of six airbags and electronic safety features including front collision warning, lane departure warning, automatic emergency breaking, lane keeping assist, traffic sign recognition, front vehicle start alert, driver attention alert, emergency stop system and safety distance alert.

The Ultimate trim level featured in the car provided all you could possibly need and more including navigation, leather seating and cameras. You also get heated front seats, a DAB radio, parking sensors and a proper spare wheel.

The Tivoli is also very practical with one of the largest boots in its class at 423 litres and although the materials inside are not the plushest they do feel built to last. The plastics are still a bit scratchy but other than that there is not much to complain about.

On the road the Tivoli handles well. The ride can be a little bit firm at times but it handles the twisty stuff and copes with most surfaces. The steering provides reasonable feedback and the brakes are very sharp.

FAST FACTS

SsangYong Tivoli Ultimate

Price: £19,995

Mechanical: 163ps, 1,597cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 112mph

0-62mph: 11.2 seconds

Combined MPG: 28.2-42.8

Insurance Group: 15

C02 emissions: 175g/km

Bik rating: 37%

Warranty: 7yrs/unlimited miles

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